I’m sitting at my desk, stressed. Deadlines are impending and time is running “short.” And so is my breath. In fact, now that I notice it, I’m barely breathing at all. Actually, I’m holding my breath, occasionally taking tiny sips of air, huffing just enough air to stay alive.
But once I try to take a deep breath, it feels fake. I artificially inflate my upper chest cavity. I don’t feel any better. Quick Google search: Wait, am I breathing backward? Upside-down? Inside out? Yes. And, maybe all of the above.
Indeed, experts agree: This upper-airway-restricted “stress breathing” is the antithesis of wellness. Apparently, breathing for maximum health would mean my lower lungs or diaphragm should be rising as I inhale. And my belly should sink and shrink with the out-breath. In fact, my chest should barely move at all, according to the American Lung Association.
The more I explore, the more I realize how detrimental my unknowingly truncated style of breathing may be to so many aspects of life. This has to stop. It’s time for a reset. I’ve got to work on my belly breathing.